In Costa Rica, turtles are taken very seriously–among other things. In the village of Tortuguero (literally translated as “Region of Turtles”), turtles of varying species find sanctuary in this 19,000-hectare park. Located between the Caribbean coast and the volcanic hills of Coronel, Caño Moreno, this wildlife conservatory is visited by over 50,000 guests the whole year round.
Weather and Climate
It’s rainy in the Tortuguero National Park all year-round that’s why it’s highly recommended that visitors of the place bring a reliable raingear. The wettest months are January, June and July while the driest are February, April and November. Though it’s rainy all throughout, it’s generally humid and the interior of the park can be windless and very warm.
It’s Best Explored by Boat
The Tortuguero National Park is not your typical park. Walking is not ideal in this area. It is best discovered by boat. With its networks of canals, estuaries and lagoons, riding a boat with a tour guide will give you a more complete, educational and incredible tour around the park.
A Home for All Turtles
Deriving its name from turtles, the Tortuguero National Park is a home for 2,000 nesting green turtles. This species is believed to have been close to extinction during the 60’s that’s why this Costa Rican National Park take great care of these amphibians. More recently, leatherback turtles and few rare hawksbill sea turtles are also nesting in this refuge.
One of the great possibilities tourists can encounter is witnessing the turtles laying eggs both during day and nighttime. Incubation of turtle eggs happen between seven to ten weeks until they hatch. There are spectacularly rare times that guests get to see the newly hatched baby turtles make their way back to the sea.
Other than Turtles
The Tortuguero National Park also boasts of more than hundreds of reptile species, 300 bird species, over 50 species of amphibians and 60 species of mammals–including some of the most endangered species in the planet. As you make your way around the park, you also get to see basilisk lizards, crocodiles, iguanas and three-toed sloths roaming around this habitat.
The vegetation here is vast and immensely diverse as well. From swamp forests to tropical wet forests, a variation of evergreens and black water canals lie ahead for tourists to see. Moreover, the flora is prosperous in this part of Costa Rica. Bully, Passion Fruit and Mangrove trees are pretty much prominent in this area. Crabwood, orchids and hollio palm can are all over the national park too.
It takes a lot to get to the Tortuguero National Park. Exploring the wildlife wonders of this renowned sanctuary is an entirely different story. With a place equally as challenging to go to and discover, touring the the Tortuguero National Park is indeed an experience one will not soon forget.
|Getting to the Tortuguero National Park
No roads can lead you to this national park. Access is only by boat or small plane which will take you to the small town of Tortuguero. Because of the limits and challenges in making private trips, it is suggested to visit Tortuguero on a tour.